A Weiner Resignation Prediction Scorecard

The pundits who said he was toast, and those who thought he'd outlast the scandal

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After what felt like an excruciatingly long scandal--which really lasted only two weeks--Rep. Anthony Weiner is resigning. It already feels like this moment was inevitable. But way way back there in early June, there was actually some doubt that Weiner would go. Rarely in politics do events move so swiftly that we such quick confirmation of whose predictions are worth listening. Most pundits refrained from giving solid predictions, offering on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand analysis. So we commend these brave souls who committed to a prediction that could be objectively proven false.

WRONG: These people may not have exactly defended Weiner, but they didn't think that there was any reason he'd lose his seat over some Twitter indiscretions.

  • Outside the Beltway's Doug Mataconis on June 11, after reports that Weiner had checked himself into some kind of treatment center: "In other words, he’s not resigning and he thinks he can ride this out. Frankly, I think this virtually guarantees that his district disappears when the New York State Legislature finishes with redistricting."
  • New York City Councilman Mark Weprin, on June 9, according to PolitickerNY: "Anthony has been a great congressman and if he and his wife want to, I think he will ride this out and go back to trying to be a great congressman."'
  • Michael Medved at The Daily Beast, on June 6: "Whether the congressman should resign his office counts as beside the point: It’s obvious that he won’t and his reflexively Democratic district will reelect him as long as he chooses to serve."
  • The National Review's Jonah Goldberg on June 6: "I say he brazens it out while casting himself as a victim of his own demons. He will seek counseling. He’ll offer a heartfelt apology. He’ll take time to “heal” his family. But he won’t resign."
  • Politico's Ben Smith on June 6: "Politically speaking, what has already emerged may well have doomed Weiner's hopes of being mayor of New York, and could well produce calls for him to resign. The main lesson of recent scandals, from Spitzer to Vitter, is that he doesn't have to: No matter how gross the private conduct, these scandals tend to burn hot and fast."
  • And, of course, Anthony Weiner, on June 9: "I will not resign."

RIGHT: Finding people who would came right out and pronounce Weiner's congressional career over was actually harder than we expected.

Unnamed congressional staffer on June 9, according to PolitickerNY:  "A congressional staffer told me the recent, X-rated image of Weiner’s penis is career-ending. 'The cock shot is devastating. Not even Bill Clinton had that.'"

The National Review's Andrew Stiles, on June 6: "Hard to see how he can possibly ride this out, especially since it’s likely just the tip of a ‘bulging’ iceberg."

Balloon Juice's John Cole, on June 11: "Pelosi, Steve Israel, and DWS have now joined the list of people calling on Weiner to resign, and the revelation that authorities talked to a 17 year old that he had texted all about seals the deal for Weiner. He’s a dead man walking, and will be out by Tuesday." He was only off by two days!

The Weekly Standard's Philip Terzian on June 9: "If he should do so, and in the absence of future revelations, Weiner will resign for two reasons: If his party in Congress decides that his continued presence is a political liability, and hence intolerable; or if the Democratic Party in New York withdraws its support and demands that he surrender his office. Both of these scenarios are based on political calculation--and, of course, on whether Weiner is persuaded that it would be in his long-term interest to comply."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.